With your attitude - yeah they probably do want to keep you home. Been off the railroad cash wagon since January - so let's see.....less than 5 yrs seniority likely. And this is your attitude already? Keep waiting.
I enjoy how the scheduled folks think that anything based on technology that could make things safer/cheaper/smarter (but of course doesn't protect a "job") when it's reported positively is immediately met with the accidents "aren't getting reported," "there are cover ups," etc. Further proof of my tech comment is/was lockout/strike at the ports 10 years ago...boo hoo the poor high school drop out working the gate a POLA only makes $90k/yr and that handheld scanner to expedite traffic through the terminals will reduce a few jobs. Almost getting choked up just thinking about those poor overworked crane operators making $165k on average to work 4 hour shifts cause it's so dangerous and scary being 100 feet off the ground loading and unloading a boat. Sh** can't you see the cost of the stupidity on the terminals when it takes 2 dolts making $79/hr to work one 8 hr shift?????? Not saying mgt ranks are impervious to stupidity, but you don't see them whining about losing their jobs to technology...they understand what attrition is and knowing that some jobs don't get replaced when a better mouse trap is built. THAT'S *business* LIFE.
The union work forces are quick to run to government agents (fra, puc, upper union mgt (irony to end all ironies)) to report rules issues, violations, issues, etc.
So what makes you think I (or anyone) should believe that an incident in Denver was covered up "even though he was asked to be quiet about it." Give me a break.
Since you are a safe railroader why didn't you call FRA about this and provide names, dates, details, etc behind the incident? Did you call the local TV station to report the unsafe transportation events that take place in your town? Then you could feel good that it wasn't covered up. You could feel good that you did something to make a company, a town, a nation a little bit safer. But since you're full of it you didn't have to do any of this.
The UTU remote operators where I work got a whopping 46 minutes more in pay to operate
the RCO Box. I've been on the RR 34 years. There was never a fatality at my location in this time
untill the RCO assignments came. There have been two since then.
In relation to the large lines, I can definantly see them moving towards a 1 man crew, especially on long haul trains that do little to no work along the line. However, for a RR such as the one I work for, a one man crew is unrealistic for the road trains. There are no trains that do not stop to switch customers, and most of these locations do not allow for the sort of containment that is currently required for RCO operations. Our yards are able to be closed off, and we have some history with RCO operations already. We haven't used them since the early to mid 90's, though there has been some movement towards them again for at least one yard location. I don't have a problem with RCO, as long as it is used intelligently, in places where there will be an actual savings. One such area I see as being ideal is the unloading (loading) of cars.
I agree with the end of the article; let's allow the time it takes for PTC to prove its self road worthy before the implementation of changes to two men crews. Otherwise, I believe we will see a lot of DOA's (dead on arrivals). Two men crews are supposed to be checks and balances. One man crew or less leave the industry wide open, even with the tremendous gains of technology. The impact may be felt by everyone, inside and outside the rail industry.
Not so sure that the numbers would support this conclusion. Granted, there are significant differences in train size, but transit and commuter operations carry millions of people every day, without DOAs, and with only an Engineer in the cab. We know of many, many instances on freight railroads where the "second pair of eyes" has not prevented red-signal violations, and collisions.
I am new at this and hope a diferent view point will help this forum. I am a retiered RR conductor with 38 years experince ten (10) years as a trainmaster and 28 years as a local chairman for the UTU. The last 10 years of my RR career I was remote control qualified. The UTU did the right thing when they accepted the RCO challenge and saved as many jobs as possible.
Here is my thoughts on RCO operations. You are right about the two man operation anythig less the job just doesn't get done. Every time you need to make a move you are in the wrong spot. The RR have many rules that make it imposible for one man to do his work and follow the rules. If you make a 20 car shove in a track and protect the move you are out of position to cut the cars off and go to the next move. That one person now has to worry about whats in front of him, road Xing, misaligned swithes and other crews. Add that to the normal dutys the RCO has and you end up with problems.
The bigest problem is that upper management don't use good common since when implementing it. They come out with directives like 20% of all jobs in every termminal will be coductor only. Nobody ever questions the people above them. They just do it and put more one man jobs on so they can get the work done. Term. Supt. should be allowed to do what is best for the term they arein the yards.
Main line operation work ok untell you have a problem or have to make a set out or pickup then just call another crew because that one going to hog on you. Again there are so many rules you have to follow for safety.
Utility men are never in the right place when you need them and you have to waite for them. And by the rules they can only work with one job at a time. If you have to put more utility men on at conductos rate of pay it seems easyer and cheeper to put the helper back on the job especialy in the yard.
I am out of time. Would love to hear your thoughts .
When you are on a time schedual and the only thing that you have to do is open and close doors and make sure every one is in the clear you won't DOA. There is no comparison to yard and road service.
How do you hook up the airhoses? Light rail has airlinks in the couplers...There is too much that can go wrong in a mile long freight train.
You have to do it by hand lift the right air hose and bend it in half. Then you bring the left air hose stright up and slip the two glade hands together. In cold weather they get real stiff. This is one of the reasons one man crews don't work. By the time you get your train laced you are on the wrong end of the train. with one man crews you are always in the wrong place to do you job. It doesn't happen very often that an air hoes comes undone but when it does you have all kinds of problems. It usualy hapens on Tri lelvels or pig flats the long cars .
Thats why there are so many acidents on the roads today. You can't just keep driving tell you run off the road because of money. Any one who has tried to drive cross country knows how your body and mind get after about 6 to 8 hours and you are not driving a 20 ton truck. So most drivers use the high energe drinks and pills to keep them going.
I did hook up airhoses twice in my life---There was a airhose display at Hobeken Station and one other time on a scenic railroad. This job is not for guys with skinny arms(like me).
38 years experiance on yard and road service. 10 of those years as a Trainmaster for NS and 28 years as a Local Chairman for the UTU.
There has to be a better way. It just looks dangerous to go between live cars and hook up airhoses. I am thinking that perhaps lasers and magnets could line up airhoses and link them togther. or that airhose coils would be on the side of the cars like they are on trucks and set in a phone cable sprial configuration. Or that we move to a magenetic brakeing system were we recharge batterys to activate the brakes. Just because we have been doing this way for 100 years is no exscuse for not having some innovation.
The problem is there is to much movement and slack action on fright trains. Some pig flates and tri and bi lelves have two to three feet of slack in them. This causes these cars air hoses to seperate on curves or when slack runs out. some cars have to use a pig tail hose. These pig tail hoses are about 7 or 8 inces long with a glade hand on both ends. belive me if there was a easer way to do it the switchman would have found it. In cold weather it is a pain in the butt.
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